5 Reasons Why Companies Should Hire Veterans

How to support transitioning service members and the steps businesses can take to recruit and retain veterans

SEATTLE - During the first one to two years post-service, veterans in civilian jobs have historically faced higher turnover rates than in later years or later jobs, as they struggle to find the right fit between the skills they honed in the military and their civilian career goals.

Wimmer Solutions, a Seattle-based consulting, staffing, and managed services company that offers comprehensive expertise and top-level technology talent, actively works with vets to help place them in rewarding roles.

“Companies can play an important role in ensuring the future success of our veterans by supporting them as they transition into civilian jobs,” said Karise Swainson, technical recruiting lead at Wimmer Solutions. “This will also support their well-being on many levels, and their full reintegration into the life of the communities in which they live and work.”

“Often, unless a hiring manager has been in the military themselves, employers have difficulty understanding the translatable skills veterans offer and may overlook them for the kinds of jobs that are both a great fit for their skills and experience,” Swainson added.

The support of the private sector is critical to ensure that families who have sacrificed so much for the country are able to find rewarding, sustainable, and financially stable careers after leaving the service.5 Reasons to Hire Veterans

  1. Veterans have advanced technical training skills that help companies and clients achieve their most pressing business goals more efficiently in a variety of situations.
  2. Veterans excel at transferring their skills to unfamiliar tasks, opportunities, and contexts.
  3. Veterans are resilient, adaptable to change and can make decisions in the face of uncertainty. They are also quick to bounce back and move ahead quickly when things don’t go according to plan.  
  4. Veterans have advanced leadership and team-building skills, fostering open communication and feedback exchange that is critical in a dynamic, high-performance work environment.
  5. Veterans leverage a wealth of cross-cultural experiences to support workplace diversity and inclusion, including language fluency and cultural sensitivity.

Due to benefits like these, public awareness is growing about the business case for hiring veterans. At the same time, the public and business community alike are becoming more aware of the challenges transitioning service members face.

Swainson and Wimmer Solutions’ technical recruiter Tom Wymer (a naval veteran) are skilled at working with transitioning service members seeking civilian employment, and offer the following advice to companies:

Three Things Companies Can Do to Support Transitioning Service Members1. Get informed: Learn more about how to recruit, retain, support, and educate veterans seeking employment in your industry.

Many great resources exist to help companies understand the challenges veterans face and the government programs and policies available to support them in their job search. Hiring managers should consider the company’s overall mission and decide how strategically incorporating veteran jobseekers fits best into overall recruitment efforts.

The Army Career Alumni Program (ACAP) helps employers find employees with the skills and experience they are looking for. Organizations like Wimmer community partner Hire America’s Heroes offer industry-specific symposia connecting transitioning service members with employers, as well as valuable tips specific to certain industries or job functions. Also check out the White House Guide to Hiring Veterans for very detailed information on all of the issues and opportunities surrounding veteran employment. Armed with the right information, recruiters can best assess current recruitment efforts, explore different ways to include vets in their strategy, and ensure that the company provides a welcoming environment for the veterans and returning service members they plan to hire.2.Create a recruiting and interview process that helps vets showcase their true skills and experience.

Many employers don’t have a sufficient understanding of how military skills and experiences translate to civilian careers. For that reason, veterans’ resumes might be overlooked during the application process. Thankfully, tools have been developed to help military career services departments – and local private sector employers – assist transitioning service members in the application, interview, and hiring process, to ultimately find a rewarding civilian position that matches their skills.

Employers should also familiarize themselves with differences that can exist between civilian and veteran applicants during the interview process and structure the process to take these differences into account. Wimmer Solutions works with its recruiters to understand what to expect and create a comfortable interview environment, and to ask appropriate questions to help draw out the hidden skills and experiences. Many veterans are more comfortable with highlighting the success of their team or unit and might be reluctant to share their own positive qualities.3.Create and implement a plan to recruit and retain veterans and military family members.

Use the resources mentioned above to reach out to qualified veterans who are seeking employment. With tools like the Pipeline Program, companies can broaden their knowledge of which military competencies translate into which types of civilian roles. Create detailed job descriptions that take military classifications into account; recruiters may even choose to include military language in their outreach and job descriptions. Consider developing a veteran-to-veteran mentorship program within the workplace, and expanding traditional benefits and employee assistance programs (EAP) to meet the unique needs of veterans.